I ran to the one place I knew I would be able to think clearly. The one place I knew I would be safe. Pinewood Cemetery. I knew this place like the back of my hand. Mom was buried in the last available plot. I opened the little gate. Well, it was not really shut. It had been broken since I can remember. It was always so peaceful here. It did not have that creepy aura like most graveyards, everyone seemed at rest. I walked to the weeping willow that was planted by my mom's grave. I sat down on the bench beside her grave.
"Hey, Mom. It's been a while." I said. I hadn't been up here since Kaydence died. A familiar feeling washed over me. I am not a superstitious person, but I knew my mom was there. All of my thoughts jumbled up in my head.
"Mom," I tried again. "I'm dying. My watch is running out. I have two months left to live. What am I going to do?" As soon as I said it, I felt better, lighter. My thoughts cleared. A memory stirred.
My mother was pregnant. She was due any day. We were over at Kaydence's house. Kaydence and I were playing dolls in the large living room, while Mom and Mrs. Myers were talking about our fathers. Frivolous conversation between best friends. I remember the conversation took a turn, the tension in the room increased. Mom looked at her watch and so did Mrs. Myers. Kaydence called my name and my attention was directed back to her. Her hair was a short, brown mop on her head. Her green eyes shone as she laughed. She looked up and I followed her gaze. Her mom had come and sat down on the Persian rug on which we were sitting. She said my name, urgently.
"Ivy, you know you can always, always come here. If you need anything at all, you are always welcome here."
I opened my eyes. I didn't realize they were closed. I was no longer in Kaydence's house. Kaydence was no longer alive. Neither was my mom. But I had gotten the message. Mom wanted me to go to Kaydence's house and see Mrs. Myer's.
"Thanks, Mom." I said. "I miss you, a lot. Tell Kaydence I miss her too." I wiped away a tear- well, more like twenty tears- as I left the cemetery.
Twenty minutes later, I was rounding the corner to Kaydence's house. Mrs. Myer's car was in the driveway. I walked up the porch steps, pausing to put my hand on my blue handprint from so many years ago. A drop of water dripped onto the step. A tear, I realized.
"Ivy?" I looked up. Mrs. Myers is in her gardening gloves again. "Is everything okay?
I opened my mouth to explain why I am here and everything that's happened, but no sound came out. Instead a sob rose from within me.
"Let's go inside." Mrs. Myers said and with one depth movement, she ushered me inside. She lead me to the couch. "Now, what's all this about?" The crying let up. I sighed.
"My watch," I broke off. I took another deep breath. "I have a month-" I started sobbing again. I was terrified. This is my biggest fear.
"A month to live?" Mrs. Myers asked. She sighed. "Will you do something for me?"
I nodded, weakly.
"Ivy," She said, more forcefully. She shook me gently, her hands rasping my arms desperately. "I need you to go see someone, but you cannot let anyone know, okay? No one can know where you are going, not even Lainey. Do you understand?"
"Yes. Yes. I understand." I said, bewildered. "What's this about?"
"It's all a lie. That's all I can tell you here." Mrs. Myers looked around wildly. "You can't ask questions. You need to go to 1700 Orchard Street."
"1700 Orchard Street? Why?" I asked.
"Sage can help."